2021 Boston Bruins Top 10 Prospects:


#10 - John Ludvig (Defense) comes in to round out the top 10 after a successful 2019-20 season. He went from 7 points in 2017-18 to 18 points in 2018-19 and then a massive jump to 62 points last year, including 17 goals. We hope that’s a sign of things to come as he continues to gain confidence and keeps shooting the puck at the net.


#9 - Henri Jokiharju (Defense) played a full season with the Sabres last season and is on the verge of graduating from the prospect list. He played in 69 games and contributed 4 goals and 11 assists in his first full season with the club. He was a minus 6 but it was on the Sabres so I won’t hold it against him. We expect Jokiharju to begin the season on the 3rd pairing and have hopes that he’ll move up and down the lineup as the season progresses.


#8 - Raphael Lavoie (Right Wing) is a bit of an enigma to me and I’ve gone back and forth on him for a long time, basically since I negotiated him being part of a package in exchange for Duchene. I think he has great potential, but I also think that there’s a strong chance that he misses that potential altogether. His numbers in the Q have been rising positively year over year. Two years ago he hit 73 points while last year he was on pace to eclipse 90 points, possibly 100 points if he got lucky. In Swe-1 this season, he’s got 14 goals in 29 games. Those are all positives, no doubt. His consistency is missing, so he’ll need to improve his work ethic/dedication to get where he needs to be. At the end of the day, I believe he’ll be in the NHL for a while at the very least, especially considering the Oilers are a team that are not deep at the NHL level. His size and skill should be a welcomed addition to the team. He’ll sit as the #8 prospect on my list for the time being.


#7 - Hendrix Lapierre (Center) is Mercer’s teammate in Chicoutimi and was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the NHL. Considered a bit of a risk due to past injuries, those seem to have been addressed as he looks to prove he can be the threat that he’s projected to be. He’s totaled 8 points in 5 games this season and was one of the last cuts from Team Canada’s WJC roster, but with his health on the rise, we’re hoping his confidence will follow suit.


#6 - Dawson Mercer (Right Wing) has been a pleasant surprise to date. Going into the 2020 NEFHL draft, he was certainly on the radar but perhaps not a top choice. After my top picks left the board in a hurry, Mercer was the next obvious selection. He was selected to represent Team Canada at the WJC tournament this year and came out with 2 goals and 4 assists, while skating to a +7. Last season with Chicoutimi in the Q, Mercer was on pace for 97 points before the season was cut short, an immense jump over his 64 point output in 2018-19. This season he has skated in 5 games, notching 4 goals and 3 assists so far. We’ll look for Mercer to continue forward with this momentum and we’re excited to see where his game transitions to from here.


#5 - Joe Veleno (Center) rounds out the top 5. His pro development is proving to take a tad longer than we had hoped. He spent all of last season with Grand Rapids, where he showed signs of greatness but it wasn’t sustained over multiple games. He ended the season with 11 goals and 12 assists in 54 games, however was a minus 25 player. The goal was to develop him into a two-way player, but he has struggled defensively. This season in Sweden, he has 8 goals and 5 assists in 25 games, but is a minus 11. He’ll need to improve his defense significantly before he can take the next step in his career. Unfortunately, it looks as though he’ll be in Sweden for the remainder of the season and we’ll have to wait until next season to see where he’ll slot in on the Red Wings depth chart.


#4 - Samuel Poulin (Left Wing) drops from the #1 spot despite his 1.67 points per game output with Sherbrooke last season, jumping leaps and bounds from the previous season’s 1.13 points per game. This season, has is off to an okay start with 6 points in 5 games, but is a minus 5 player already. He was also cut from Team Canada’s World Junior team. These are small setbacks and by no means does any of it indicate that his development is trending negatively, but we’ll look for Samuel to pick up the pace as the season progresses and we are looking forward to seeing him don a Penguins jersey in the near future and hopefully help the NEFHL Bruins in the process.


#3 - Jakob Pelletier (Left Wing) comes in next. He’s coming off a good showing at the World Junior tournament, finishing with 3 goals, 4 assists and was a +9. So far with Val d’Or in the Q, he has 13 points in 9 games played. His offensive stats have improved in each of his years in the QMJHL and he’ll look to continue that trend in hopes of cracking the Calgary Flames starting lineup sooner than later.


#2 - Jake Bean (Defense) ranks #2 on the Bruins prospect list. Another defenseman, Bean completed an offensive jump from his previous season with Charlotte, scoring 10 goals and 38 assists in only 59 games played. His 48 points exceeded his previous season totals despite playing 11 fewer games. He has also played a more aggressive game, increasing his penalty minutes in the process. Stuck behind a loaded Carolina Hurricanes backend, Bean will look to impress during training camp and somehow sneak in games at hockey’s highest level.


#1 - Victor Soderstrom (Defense) tops the Boston Bruins prospect list for the 2020-21 season. Despite the tournament ending in another disappointment for the Swedes, Soderstrom played well, nothing 5 assists and was a plus player. Sweden’s defense was not overly active on the offensive end, so Soderstrom’s output is considered more than decent. Playing with AIK in Swe-1 in Sweden, Victor has played in 12 games, notching a goal and adding 5 assists while again being a plus player. He’ll look to player a pivotal role on Arizona’s blueline for years to come.


Honourable mentions:


#13 - Jansen Harkins (Center) has received praise from teammates and coaches for his work ethic and dedication. He was never supposed to be in the NHL, according to some, and essentially forced his way into the picture. It looks like he has a long-term home in Winnipeg and now has the potential to jump into a middle-six role. Really looking forward to seeing how Harkins progresses.


#14 - Justin Barron (Defense) has seen his stock rise in the past year. The Halifax native was drafted by The Colorado Avalanche in the first round, he was selected to Team Canada’s World Junior team (where he had 2 assists) and off to a red-hot start with Halifax in the QMJHL (7 points in 8 games). The ceiling his high for this 19 year old.


#17 - Jordan Harris (Defense) has played the past 2 years with Northeastern University while increasing his offensive output year over year. In 33 games last year, he scored 3 goals. In only 8 games this season, he has 4 goals and is a point a game player on the blue line. Montreal drafted him in the 3rd round in 2018 and could be considered a steal if he continues to produce.


#28 - Oliwer Kaski (Defense) the curious case of Oliwer Kaski has labeled him as a late bloomer. He had some success in Finland before faltering with Grand Rapids. He was traded to Carolina in December 2019, where he saw great success with the Checkers (11 goals in 35 games) and has continued that momentum in the KHL this season. In 40 games, he has 10 goals and 14 assists with Omsk Avangard. The issue, however, is Carolina’s already-crowded blueline. He certainly won’t jump ahead of Jake Bean, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bean snagged by Seattle in the Expansion Draft.


#40 Alex Steeves has gone undrafted and unsigned to this point. But, the Notre Dame player has started to string together a successful string of games of late. He scored 11 goals in 36 games last season, and has scored 5 goals (and 5 assists) in 10 games this season. He is starting to appear on teams radars and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him signed somewhere at the end of the season.


The full list will be available in the Boston Bruins Newsletter on the forums.